The SBHC Model
Healthy kids learn better. School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs) ensure that kids can get the care they need, without missing class time.
SBHCs are a unique health care model for comprehensive physical, mental and preventive health services provided to youth and adolescents either within a school or on school property. With easy access to health care in a school setting, SBHCs reduce barriers such as cost, transportation, and concerns surrounding confidentiality that often keep children and youth from seeking the health services they need. SBHCs provide a full range of physical, mental and preventative health services to all students, regardless of their ability to pay.
Each SBHC is staffed by a primary care professional who may be a doctor, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant, other medical or mental health professionals and support staff, such as a receptionist. The centers are comfortable and accessible to encourage kids to either make an appointment to come in or to drop by when they need medical attention and/or want to learn more about health issues.
SBHCs have existed in Oregon since 1986 and succeed through unique public-private partnerships between the Oregon Public Health Division, school districts, county public health departments, public and private practitioners, parents, students, and community members.
Goals of SBHCs
- Improve access to affordable quality primary care and mental health services for school-aged youth
- Provide patient-center care services for all students, regardless of insurance status
- Reduce costs related to unnecessary hospital stays and use of emergency rooms
- Improve educational outcomes because healthy kids learn better.
- Save parents time by reducing missed work hours
SBHCs in Oregon
Oregon’s 68 SBHCs are located in 20 counties in urban, suburban, rural and frontier communities (click here for Map
). They are located on elementary (11), middle (6), high (38), and combined grades (13) school campuses. During the 2013-2014 school year, 12 communities began planning new SBHCs.
Services are available to students regardless of their ability to pay, insurance status, race, color, national origin, religion, immigration status, sexual orientation, handicap, or gender. Reasonable accommodations are made to provide confidential services to non-English speaking students. In some instances, centers provide services to siblings, families, and community members as well.
During the 2012-2013 school year, SBHCs in Oregon served 22,408 patients in 65,705 visits.
Why SBHCs Work
|SBHCs are located on school grounds and are open and operating when kids are in school. As a result, students are back in class faster than if they had sought health care in a non-SBHC setting. Additionally, parents do not need to take time off work in order to transport a sick student to the doctor. SBHCs provide accessible, comprehensive, and confidential health care services to Oregon youth through public and private partnerships (e.g. schools, health departments, community providers, hospitals).
90% of youth reported being able to get a SBHC appointment right away for the care they needed
SBHCs an Quality Care
Oregon's SBHCs are staffed by trained, licensed professionals deeply committed to serving the health care needs of young people. Numerous required protocols are in place in order to maintain a high standard of care. Taking that a step further, Oregon SBHCs have certification standards to reduce site-to site variability. For more information, please view Oregon SBHC Certification Standards.